Restoring Human Rights

The human spirit is free, unfettered and timeless.

With the manifestation of space/time/causation, a multitude of individual egocentric souls are born.

Each soul has the ability to transcend the influence of relativity and experience the bliss of true freedom. Free spirit became individualized, so that it can experience itself.

Every day a new child is born of the Earth. The forces of nature animate the new body and offer it strength, love, and the prospect of a fruitful life.

Each new life wakes to the reality of our relative world. Already overshadowed by the illusion of space/time/causation, that free spirit now begins to perceive and define itself within the confines of individual body and mind.

Parents extend their love, a gentle caress, and protective benevolence. A child comes into the world via parents, but they are independent souls. They are in the protective custody of parents for a time, but they are free and not owned by any man or women.

Additional layers of enslavement are quickly placed on the newborn youngster. Cultural, race, gender and religious values are imposed. Training based on what is perceived to be right, and what is perceived to be wrong, as defined by respective societies, takes place. Each child is taught how to act, think, and evaluate the world.

Layer upon layer of mental constructs and restrictions have taken away the newborns freedom.

The sun shines everywhere the same. It does not hold back its life giving warmth and light. It is humanity that compartmentalizes behavior and action. We create and label as good or bad. Nature makes no such distinction.

After the enslavement of the mind by its identification with concepts and sensations, other human beings in position of power – impose their will upon people.

We are not free because other people want to control us and tell us what to think. They do this out of their own insecurity, limited vision, and impending sense of loss. They are not enlightened.

Big business with its money, Religion (Church, Mosque and Temple), and the Military constantly vie for domination of the masses of people. There are also a multitude of lesser players whose aim is to subjugate and bend your will to theirs.

So today we find that there is a cost for freedom and the attainment of full Human Rights. Until the consciousness of human beings transcend the binding influence of ego; there will be strife, suffering, and the continued suppression of people.

Human Rights for all …

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The Four Freedoms as presented by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, during his State of the Union address:

1. Freedom of speech and expression
2. Freedom of worship
3. Freedom from want
4. Freedom from fear

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From the January 20, 1961, United States Presidential Address by John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

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From Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 10, 1994:

The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country,the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment.

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!

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Form a speech given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, Austria, June 1993:

Human Rights and Universal Responsibility

“Our world is becoming smaller and ever more interdependent with the rapid growth in population and increasing contact between people and governments. In this light, it is important to reassess the rights and responsibilities of individuals, peoples and nations in relation to each other and to the planet as a whole. This World Conference of organizations and governments concerned about the rights and freedoms of people throughout the world reflects the appreciation of our interdependence. No matter what country or continent we come from we are all basically the same human beings. We have the common human needs and concerns. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering regardless of our race, religion, sex or political status. Human beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and in freedom. As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand ourselves and our world. But if we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being. It is very often the most gifted, dedicated and creative members of our society who become victims of human rights abuses. Thus the political, social, cultural and economic developments of a society are obstructed by the violations of human rights. Therefore, the protection of these rights and freedoms are of immense importance both for the individuals affected and for the development of the society as a whole.

“It is my belief that the lack of understanding of the true cause of happiness is the principal reason why people inflict suffering on others. Some people think that causing pain to others may lead to their own happiness or that their own happiness is of such importance that the pain of others is of no significance. But this is clearly short-sighted. No one truly benefits from causing harm to another being. Whatever immediate advantage is gained at the expense of someone else is short-lived. In the long run causing others misery and infringing upon their peace and happiness creates anxiety, fear and suspicion for oneself.

“The key to creating a better and more peaceful world is the development of love and compassion for others. This naturally means we must develop concern for our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than we are. In this respect, the non-governmental organisations have a key role to play. You not only create awareness for the need to respect the rights of all human beings, but also give the victims of human rights violations hope for a better future. When I travelled to Europe for the first time in 1973, I talked about the increasing interdependence of the world and the need to develop a sense of universal responsibility. We need to think in global terms because the effects of one nation’s actions are felt far beyond its borders. The acceptance of universally binding standards of human rights as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants of Human Rights is essential in today’s shrinking world. Respect for fundamental human rights should not remain an ideal to be achieved but a requisite foundation for every human society

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David Cameron’s speech on the European court of human rights – Wednesday 25 January 2012

UK Commitment to Human Rights

First, I want to make something clear. Human rights is a cause that runs deep in the British heart and long in British history. In the thirteenth century, the Magna Carta set down specific rights for citizens, including the right to freedom from unlawful detention. In the seventeenth century, the Petition of Right gave new authority to Parliament; and the Bill of Rights set limits on the power of the monarchy.

By the eighteenth century it was said that: “this spirit of liberty is so deeply implanted in our constitution, and rooted in our very soil, that a slave the moment he lands in England, falls under the protection of the laws, and with regard to all natural rights becomes instantly a freeman.”

It was that same spirit that led to the abolition of slavery … that drove the battle against tyranny in two World Wars … and that inspired Winston Churchill to promise that the end of the “world struggle” would see the “enthronement of human rights”.

As he put it, victory in that war was the “victory of an ideal founded on the right of the common man, on the dignity of the human being, and on the conception of the State as the servant, not the master, of its people.” These beliefs have animated the British people for centuries – and they animate us today.

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Vision of Humanity has published their 2012 Global Peace Index. Here is their ranking by country:

From most peaceful to least …

1. Iceland (the best)
2. Denmark
3. New Zealand
4 Canada
5. Japan
6. Austria
6. Ireland
8. Slovenia
9. Finland
10. Switzerland
11. Belgium
12. Qatar
13. Czech Republic
14. Sweden
15. Germany
16. Portugal
17. Hungary
18. Norway
19. Bhutan
20. Malaysia
21. Mauritius
22. Australia
23. Singapore
24. Poland
25. Spain
26. Slovakia
27. Taiwan
28. Netherlands
29. United Kingdom
30. Chile
31. Botswana
32. Romania
33. Uruguay
34. Vietnam
35. Croatia
36. Costa Rica
37. Laos
38. Italy
39. Bulgaria
40. France
41. Estonia
42. South Korea
43. Lithuania
44. Argentina
45. Latvia
46. United Arab Emirates
47. Kuwait
48. Mozambique
49. Namibia
50. Ghana
51. Zambia
52. Sierra Leone
53. Lesotho
54. Morocco
55. Tanzania
56. Burkina Faso
56. Djibouti
58. Mongolia
59. Oman
60. Malawi
61. Panama
62. Jordan
63. Indonesia
64. Serbia
65. Herzegovina
66. Albania
67. Moldova
68. Macedonia (FYR)
69. Guyana
70. Cuba
71. Ukraine
72. Tunisia
73. Cyprus
74. Gambia
75. Gabon
76. Paraguay
77. Greece
78. Senegal
79. Peru
80. Nepal
81. Montenegro
81. Nicaragua
83. Brazil
84. Bolivia
85. Ecuador
85. Swaziland
87. Equatorial Guinea
88. United States of America
89. China
90. Dominican Republic
91. Bangladesh
92. Guinea
93. Papua New Guinea
94. Trinidad and Tobago
95. Angola
95. Guinea-Bissau
97. Cameroon
98. Uganda
99. Madagascar
100. Tajikistan
101. Liberia
102. Mali
103. Sri Lanka
104. Republic of Congo
105. Kazakhstan
106. Saudi Arabia
107. Haiti
108. Cambodia
109. Belarus
110. Uzbekistan
111. Egypt
111. El Salvador
113. Jamaica
114. Benin
115. Armenia
116. Niger
117. Turkmenistan
118. Bahrain
119. Rwanda
120. Kenya
121. Algeria
122. Eritrea
123. Venezuela
124. Guatemala
125. Mauritania
126. Thailand
127. South Africa
128. Iran
129. Honduras
130. Turkey
131. Kyrgyz Republic
132. Azerbaijan
133. Philippines
134. Cote d’Ivoire
135. Mexico
136. Lebanon
137. Ethiopia
138. Burundi
139. Myanmar
140. Zimbabwe
141. Georgia
142. India
143. Yemen
144. Colombia
145. Chad
146. Nigeria
147. Libya
148. Syria
149. Pakistan
150. Israel
151. Central African Republic
152. North Korea
153. Russia
154. Democratic Republic of the Congo
155. Iraq
156. Sudan
157. Afghanistan
158. Somalia (the worst)

Reference:
www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi-data/

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Amnesty International keeps track of Human Rights around the world. Their report by Region and Country can be found at …

http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries

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United States Commission on International Religious Freedom – has found the following …

United States Commission On International Religious Freedom
Annual Report 2011

Countries of Particular Concern – CPC Recommended for CPC Designation Watch List Countries – 

Where serious violations of religious freedom are engaged in or tolerated by the government.

Burma
China
Eritrea
Iran
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Sudan
Uzbekistan
Burma
China
Eritrea
Iran
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Sudan
Uzbekistan
Egypt
Iraq
Nigeria
Pakistan
Turkmenistan
Vietnam
Afghanistan
Belarus
Cuba
India
Indonesia
Laos
Russia
Somalia
Tajikistan
Turkey
Venezuela

Reference:
http://www.uscirf.gov/reports-and-briefs/annual-report/3594-2011-annual-report.html

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Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s flagship publication lists …

Political and Civil Liberties Status
Free – 89 Countries

Andorra
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Cape Verde
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica

 

Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guyana
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kiribati
Latvia
Liechtenstein

 

Lithuania
Luxembourg
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Micronesia
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Zealand
Northern Cyprus
Norway
Palau
Panama
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico (USA)

 

Romania
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent & Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan (ROC)
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Vanuatu

 

 

Political and Civil Liberties Status
Partly Free – 64 Countries

Abkhazia (Georgia)
Albania
Armenia
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Central African Republic
Colombia
Comoros
East Timor
Ecuador
Fiji
Georgia

 

Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong (China)
Kashmir (India)
Kenya
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Macedonia
Madagascar

 

Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mexico
Moldova
Morocco
Mozambique
Nepal
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Philippines
Senegal

 

Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Solomon Islands
Somaliland (Somalia)
Sri Lanka
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Tonga
Tunisia
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
Venezuela
Zambia

 

 

Political and Civil Liberties Status
Not Free – 56 Countries

Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belarus
Brunei
Burma (Myanmar)
Cambodia
Cameroon
Chad
China (PRC)
Congo, Dem. Rep. of
Congo, Republic of

 

Côte d’Ivoire
Cuba
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Gaza Strip (PNA)
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Kashmir (Pakistan)

 

Kazakhstan
Laos
Libya
Mauritania
Nagorno-Karabakh -Armenia/Azerbaijan)
North Korea
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Rwanda
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
South Ossetia – (Georgia)
South Sudan

 

Sudan
Swaziland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tibet  (China)
Transnistria (Moldova)
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
West Bank (PNA)
Western Sahara – (Morocco)
Yemen
Zimbabwe

 

Reference:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/reports

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Whether born rich or poor, healthy or sick, black or white, tall or short; everyone is valued and divine.

Bowing to cause and affect we weave complex life patterns. Some are beneficial, while others are not. Guard the freedoms that you already have, and work to extend them to others.

Nothing is sacrosanct, so challenge hypocrisy and dogma. Do not be afraid to question. As a caged bird takes flight when the door is open, so to open your heart and mind to all possibilities.

Liberty, freedom and full human rights are your birthright.

Strive in this lifetime to unfold your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual freedom.

Eternal bliss consciousness is the home of all that is and is not.

Since you can think and entertain thoughts, you can meditate. Locate the source of freedom at the seat of thought.

You have always been free, but the clouds of space/time awareness shroud that realization. Meditate every day to lift the fog of unknowing, and reclaim free unbounded eternal consciousness.

Posted by on June 23rd, 2012 Comments Off on Restoring Human Rights

Meher Baba (1894-1969) Sufi Master, Mystic, and Avatar of our Age.

Meher Baba

Merwan Sheriar Irani was the second of six children, born to a Persian family in Poona, India.

As a young boy he liked to read poetry and participate in sports. He spent hours with his friends playing their favorite past time game, cricket. At the age of thirteen he started a boys club, where they kept up to date on current events, developed public speaking skills, and collected money for the poor.

Merwan graduated from High School and then attended Deccan College. One day on the way home from school he noticed an old lady sitting under a tree. Perhaps she was 100 years old. She motioned to him to come over. He was curious to see who she was. Then Hazrat Babajan (a Sufi Master holy woman) gave him a kiss on the forehead.

His life changed in an instant. He was dazed and barely made it home in one piece. His consciousness filled with the splendor of blissful eternity. By evening he realized God within himself.

He spent the next several years under the tutelage of a variety of spiritual Masters. When he was twenty seven he left his current master, Sadguru Upasni Maharaj, and headed out into the world to travel and teach. He spent time helping the poor and opened a boarding house for those with no place to live.

In 1925 he went into silence, never to verbally speak again. He communicated with the world using sign language and an alphabetic board. As such he was sometimes called the silent Guru.

In 1927 Meher founded his first ashram and living center, based on the Sufi tradition. His students gave him the name Meher Baba, which means “Compassionate Father” in Persian.

Meher Baba traveled around the world several times. In the west he taught in Australia, the United States, and England (1931). He wrote many books. Thousands of people flocked to be by his side or just to catch a glimpse of him.

He observed silence for the last 44 years of his earthly life.

Note: Sufism is the mystical arm of Islam. However, in recent years their shrines, temples, and followers have come under attack by Islamists in Pakistan, Iran, Kurdistan, Syria, and other countries. Please pray for their safety and well being.

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The Seven Realities:

Existence, Love, Sacrifice, Renunciation, Knowledge, Control, and Surrender.

I give no importance to creed, dogma, caste, or the performance of religious ceremonies and rites but to the understanding of the following seven Realities:

1. The only Real Existence is that of the one and only God, who is the Self in every finite self.

2. The only Real Love is the love for this Infinity (God), which arouses an intense longing to see, know, and become one with its Truth (God).

3. The only Real Sacrifice is that in which, in pursuance of this love, all things-body, mind, position, welfare, and even life itself are sacrificed.

4. The only Real Renunciation is that which abandons, even in the midst of worldly duties, all selfish thoughts and desires.

5. The only Real Knowledge is the knowledge that God is the inner dweller in good people and in so-called bad, in saint and in so-called sinner. This knowledge requires you to help all equally as circumstances demand without expectation of reward; when compelled to take part in a dispute, to act without the slightest trace of enmity or hatred, to try to make others happy with brotherly or sisterly feeling for each one; and to harm no one in thought, word, or deed-not even those who harm you.

6. The only Real Control is the discipline of the senses to abstain from indulgence in low desires, which alone ensures absolute purity of character.

7. The only Real Surrender is that in which poise is undisturbed by any adverse circumstance; and the individual, amidst every kind of hardship, is resigned with perfect calm to the will of God.

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Selfishness:

Selfishness comes into existence owing to the tendency of desires to find fulfillment in action and experience. It is born of fundamental ignorance about one’s own true nature. Human consciousness is clouded by the accumulation of various types of impressions deposited by the long course of the evolution of consciousness.

These impressions express themselves as desires, and the range of the operation of consciousness is strictly limited by these desires. The samskaras, or impressions, form an enclosure around the possible field of consciousness. The circle of samskaras constitutes that limited area in which alone the individual consciousness can be focused.

Lust, greed, anger:

The chief forms in which the frustrated ego finds expression are lust, greed, and anger. Lust is very much like greed in many respects; but it differs in the manner of its fulfillment, which is directly related to the gross sphere. Lust finds its expression through the medium of the physical body and is concerned with the flesh. It is a form of entanglement with the gross sphere.

Greed is a state of restlessness of the heart, and it consists mainly of craving for power and possessions. Possessions and power are sought for the fulfillment of desires. Man is only partially satisfied in his attempt to have the fulfillment of his desires, and this partial satisfaction fans and increases the flame of craving instead of extinguishing it. Thus greed always finds an endless field of conquest and leaves the individual endlessly dissatisfied. The chief expressions of greed are related to the emotional part of man. It is a form of entanglement with the subtle sphere.

Anger is the fume of an irritated mind. It is caused by the thwarting of desires. It feeds the limited ego and is used for domination and aggression. It aims at removing the obstacles existing in the fulfillment of desires. The frenzy of anger nourishes egoism and conceit, and it is the greatest benefactor of the limited ego. Mind is the seat of anger, and its expressions are mostly through the activities of the mind. Anger is a form of entanglement with the mental sphere. Lust, greed, and anger respectively have body, heart, and mind as their vehicles of expression.

Road to happiness:

Selfishness inevitably leads to dissatisfaction and disappointment because desires are endless. The problem of happiness is therefore the problem of dropping one’s desires. Desires, however, cannot be effectively overcome through mechanical repression. They can be annihilated only through Knowledge. If you dive deep in the realm of thoughts and think seriously for just a few minutes, you will realize the emptiness of desires. Think of what you have enjoyed all these years and what you have suffered. All that you have enjoyed through life is today nil. All that you have suffered through life is also nothing in the present. All was illusory.

It is your right to be happy, and yet you create your own unhappiness by wanting things. Wanting is the source of perpetual restlessness. If you do not get the thing you want, you are disappointed. And if you get it, you want more and more of it and become unhappy. Say “I do not want anything” and be happy. The continuous realization of the futility of wants will eventually lead you to Knowledge. This Self-knowledge will give you the freedom from wants that leads to the road to abiding happiness.

Love and Service:

The dawn of love facilitates the death of selfishness. Being is dying by loving. If you cannot love one another, how can you love even those who torture you? The limits of selfishness are created by ignorance. When a person realizes that he can have more glorious satisfaction by widening the sphere of his interests and activities, he is heading toward the life of service. At this stage he entertains many good desires. He wants to make others happy by relieving distress and helping them. And though even in such good desires there is often an indirect and latent reference to the self, narrow selfishness has no grip over good deeds. Even good desires may, in a sense, be said to be a form of enlightened and extended selfishness; for, like bad desires, they too move within the domain of duality. But as the person entertains good desires his selfishness embraces a larger conception that eventually brings about its own extinction. Instead of merely trying to be illustrious, arresting, and possessive, he learns to be useful to others.

Deep Sleep:

Every time you go to sleep you are unconsciously united with the infinite Reality. This unification involves the extension of unconsciousness over consciousness. It thus bridges over the chasm between the unconscious and the conscious. But being unconscious of this union, you do not consciously derive any benefit from it. This is the reason why, when you wake up again from deep sleep, you become aware of the same self, humdrum individual; and you begin to act and experience exactly as you acted and experienced before going to sleep. If your union with the supreme Reality had been a conscious union, you would have awakened into a completely new and infinitely rich life.

Spiritual advancement:

The gulf between the clouded consciousness of average humanity and the fully illumined consciousness of a Perfect Master is created by samskaras that give rise to egoism. These can be removed through perfect character, devotion, and selfless service; but the best results in this direction are attained through the help of a Perfect Master. Spiritual advancement consists not in the further development of consciousness (for it is already fully developed in man), but in the emancipation of consciousness from the bondage of samskaras. Although, in essence, consciousness is the same in all the different states of existence, it can never be consummate unless it can reflect the knowledge of Infinity without the least shadow of ignorance, and also cover the whole extent of creation illumining the different spheres of existence.

Through opposites to beyond opposites:

Like the shuttle of the weaver’s loom, the human mind moves within two extremes, developing the warp and the woof of the cloth of life. The development of spiritual life is best represented not as a straight line but as a zigzag course.

Take the function of the two banks of a river. If there were no banks, the waters of the river would disperse, making it impossible for the river to reach its destination. In the same way, the life-force would dissipate itself in endless and innumerable ways, were it not confined between the two poles of the opposites.

These banks of the river of life are best looked upon not as two parallel lines but as two converging lines that meet at the point of Liberation. The amount of oscillation becomes less and less as the individual approaches the goal, and completely subsides when he realizes it. It is like the movement of the doll that has its center of gravity at the base, with the result that it has a gradual tendency to become steady in the sitting posture. If shaken, it continues to swing from side to side for some time; but each movement covers a shorter span, and in the end the doll becomes stationary. In the case of cosmic evolution, such subsiding of alternation between the opposites means Mahapralaya; and in the spiritual evolution of the individual, it means Liberation.

Analysis of human experience:

There are two aspects of human experience-the subjective and objective. On the one hand there are mental processes that constitute essential ingredients of human experience, and on the other hand there are things and objects to which they refer. The mental processes are partly dependent upon the immediately given objective situation, and partly dependent upon the functioning of accumulated samskaras, or impressions, of previous experiences. The human mind thus finds itself between a sea of past samskaras on the one side and the whole extensive objective world on the other.

Human actions are based upon the operation of the impressions stored in the mind through previous experiences. Every thought, emotion, and act is grounded in groups of impressions that, when considered objectively, are seen to be modifications of the mind. These impressions are deposits of previous experiences and become the most important factors in determining the course of present and future experience. The mind is constantly creating and gathering such impressions in the course of its experience.

When occupied with the physical objects of this world (such as the body, nature, and other things), the mind is, so to say, externalized and creates gross impressions. When it is busy with its own subjective mental processes, which are the expressions of already existing samskaras, it creates subtle and mental impressions. The question whether samskaras come first or experience comes first is like the question whether the hen or the egg comes first. Both are conditions of each other and develop side by side. The problem of understanding the significance of human experience, therefore, turns around the problem of understanding the formation and function of samskaras.

The samskaras are of two types, natural and nonnatural, according to the manner in which they come into existence. The samskaras the soul gathers during the period of organic evolution are natural. These samskaras come into existence as the soul successively takes up and abandons the various subhuman forms, thus gradually passing from the apparently inanimate states (such as stone or metal) to the human state, where there is full development of consciousness. All the samskaras that cluster around the soul before it attains the human form are the product of natural evolution and are referred to as natural samskaras. They should be carefully distinguished from the samskaras cultivated by the soul after the attainment of the human form.

The samskaras that get attached to the soul during the human stage are cultivated under the moral freedom of consciousness with its accompanying responsibility of choice between good and bad, virtue and vice. They are referred to as nonnatural samskaras. Though these post human samskaras are directly dependent upon the natural, they are created under fundamentally different conditions of life and are, in their origin, comparatively more recent than the natural samskaras.

This difference in the length of the formative periods and in the conditions of formation is responsible for the difference in the degree of firmness of attachment of the natural and nonnatural samskaras to the soul. The nonnatural samskaras are not as difficult to eradicate as the natural, which have an ancient heritage and are therefore more firmly rooted. The obliteration of the natural samskaras is practically impossible unless the neophyte is the recipient of the grace and the intervention of a Sadguru, or Perfect Master.

Spirituality covers the whole of life:

The life of the spirit is the expression of Infinity and, as such, knows no artificial limits. True spirituality is not to be mistaken for an exclusive enthusiasm for some fad. It is not concerned with any “ism.” When people seek spirituality apart from life, as if it had nothing to do with the material world, their search is futile. All creeds and cults have a tendency to emphasize some fragmentary aspect of life, but true spirituality is total in its outlook. The essence of spirituality does not consist in a specialized or narrow interest in some imagined part of life but in a certain enlightened attitude to all the various situations that obtain in life. It covers and includes the whole of life. All the material things of this world can be made subservient to the divine game; and when they are thus subordinated, they become auxiliary to the self-affirmation of the spirit.

Body not necessarily hindrance to spiritual life:

The value of material things depends upon the part they play in the life of the spirit. In themselves they are neither good nor bad. They become good or bad according to whether they help or hinder the manifestation of divinity through them. Take, for example, the place of the physical body in the life of the spirit. It is a mistake to set up an antithesis between “flesh” and “spirit.” Such contrast almost inevitably ends in an unqualified condemnation of the body. The body obstructs spiritual fulfillment only if it is pampered as having claims in its own right. Its proper function is rightly understood as ancillary to spiritual purposes.

Detachment does not mean indifference:

However, those who would live the life of the spirit must remain detached in the midst of worldly things without becoming cold or indifferent to them. Detachment should not be misunderstood as lack of appreciation. It is not only compatible with the true evaluation of things but is its very condition. Craving creates delusion and prevents right perception. It nourishes obsessions and sustains the feeling of dependence upon external objects. Detachment promotes right understanding and facilitates perception of the true worth of things without making consciousness dependent upon external objects.

To see things as they are is to grasp their real significance as parts of the manifestation of the One Life, and to see through the veil of their apparent multiplicity is to be free from the insistent obsession for anything in its imagined isolation and exclusiveness. The life of the spirit is to be found in comprehensiveness that is free from clinging and in appreciation that is free from entanglement. It is a life of positive freedom in which the spirit infuses itself into matter and shines through it without submitting to any curtailment of its own claims.

Spiritual understanding not born of blind imitation:

Spiritual understanding, which is the complementary aspect of the life of the spirit, must be distinguished from worldly wisdom, which is the quintessence of the conventions of the world. Spiritual wisdom does not consist in the unquestioning acceptance of the ways of the world. The ways of the world are almost always the collective effect of the actions of materially inclined people. Worldly people consider something to be right and make it right for persons of similar inclination. Therefore the blind following of conventions does not necessarily secure wise action. The life of the spirit cannot be a life of uncritical imitation; it must have its basis in the true understanding of values.

Love pervades the universe:

Life and love are inseparable from each other. Where there is life, there is love. Even the most rudimentary consciousness is always trying to burst out of its limitations and experience some kind of unity with other forms. Though each form is separate from other forms, in reality they are all forms of the same unity of life. The latent sense for this hidden inner reality indirectly makes itself felt even in the world of illusion through the attraction that one form has for another form.

Lower forms of love:

Human love is encircled by a number of obstructive factors, such as infatuation, lust, greed, anger, and jealousy. In one sense, even these obstructive factors are either forms of lower love or the inevitable side results of these lower forms of love. Infatuation, lust, and greed might be looked upon as perverted and lower forms of love. In infatuation a person is enamored of a sensual object; in lust he develops a craving for sensations in relation to it; and in greed he desires to possess it. Of these three forms of lower love, greed has a tendency to extend from the original object to the means of obtaining it. Thus a person becomes greedy for money or power or fame, which can be instruments for possessing the different objects that are craved. Anger and jealousy come into existence when these lower forms of love are thwarted or threatened to be thwarted.

Divine love and human love:

Divine love is qualitatively different from human love. Human love is for the many in the One, and divine love is for the One in the many. Human love leads to innumerable complications and tangles, but divine love leads to integration and freedom. In divine love the personal and the impersonal aspects are equally balanced; in human love the two aspects are in alternating ascendency. When the personal note is predominant in human love, it leads to utter blindness to the intrinsic worth of other forms. When, as in a sense of duty, love is predominantly impersonal, it often makes one cold, rigid, and mechanical. A sense of duty comes to the individual as an external constraint on behavior, but in divine love there is unrestrained freedom and unbounded spontaneity. Human love in its personal and impersonal aspects is limited; divine love with its fusion of the personal and the impersonal aspects is infinite in being and expression.

Dynamics of love:

Love is the reflection of God’s unity in the world of duality. It constitutes the entire significance of creation. If love were excluded from life, all the souls in the world would assume complete externality to each other; and the only possible relations and contacts in such a loveless world would be superficial and mechanical. It is because of love that the contacts and relations between individual souls become significant. It is love that gives meaning and value to all the happenings in the world of duality. But while love gives meaning to the world of duality, it is at the same time a standing challenge to duality. As love gathers strength, it generates creative restlessness and becomes the main driving power of that spiritual dynamic which ultimately succeeds in restoring to consciousness the original unity of Being.

§§

Practice meditation every day to imbibed the essence of Meher Baba’s life and glorious teaching.

Posted by on May 28th, 2012 Comments Off on Meher Baba (1894-1969) Sufi Master, Mystic, and Avatar of our Age.

Finding and living your Dharma

Mammoth Cave National Park

As we walked down the narrow rocky corridor members of the tour group voiced fascination and excitement.

The walls of sandstone on either side were carved millennia ago by underground rivers. Striations in the rock covered the ceiling and walls. The narrow passageway dipped to the left, and then to the right. The hollow access widened and then narrowed. The underground labyrinth inspired our imagination and instilled a sense of adventure.

We were on the Grand Avenue Tour at Mammoth Cave, and the limestone walls gave way into a large underground chamber known as Frozen Niagara.  There we viewed the 75 foot high flowstone formation, along with other Stalactites (hangs from the ceiling) and Stalagmites (rises from the floor).  A bit later we ended up in the Rainbow Dome, and stood in awe at the spectacular display of calcium carbonate cave formations.

For me the best part of this job is watching the wonderful expressions of discovery on the faces of our visitors. If I can help to stir the imagination and inspire our children and adults, I consider this a good day. As a Park Ranger I’m dedicated to introducing our guests to the wonders of planet Earth.

I’ve had many jobs over the last fifty years. I started out delivering newspapers and then working as general labor it a knitting factory. We made sweaters, blouses and skirts. In the 1980’s I saw these textile jobs moved overseas and many of my friends were left without work. I went to night school and earned an associate’s degree in Accounting, mostly because there were plenty of promising jobs in that field.

I worked for many years as an Accountant but I was never truly happy. I did my job with honesty and diligence, but it was just a means to pay the bills. I know that some corporate accountants say one plus one is whatever management wants it to be, but for me it was always two.

It wasn’t until I retired a few years ago that I found my life’s calling. There was an opening for tour guides at Mammoth Cave. I lived in Edmonson County for most of my life and enjoyed fishing on the Green River. I had spare time on my hands and remembered how I loved walking the caverns.

Now as a Park Ranger I found the job of my dreams. I finally got my grove.

Steer a true course

In the Western World finding that niche in life, where you thrive and blossom is often called Living the Dream. In the East it’s called Living your Dharma.

But it’s more than just finding the right job, that perfect life partner, or having a comfortable lifestyle. It’s about discovering who you really are, and what actions in life are best suited to exercise and cultivate your natural born talents. Following such a course accelerates your personal growth and also contributes to the well being of the human race.

The need to live your Dharma is an important theme found in the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

It’s based on the observation that various Natural Laws seem to be operating in the Universe. These laws create, sustain and destroy (transition) all aspects of relative life – in order to keep the universe running in a smooth, progressive, orderly fashion.

On a personal level that means aligning your thoughts and actions to flow in accordance with Natural Law.

Proper choice and pursuit of job, family, religion, health, exercise, ethical behavior, duty, social responsibility, marriage, self development and meditation – lead to greater benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom, and faith in life.

Some may call this “The Law Eternal” (Sanatana Dharma), the “Path of Righteousness” or the “Dharma Gate” (as in Taoism), but in all cases it refers to living your full potential.

Flow with the rhythm of creation, and just Be.

When you follow your own Dharma, it …

• Fulfills your destiny
• Gives you the feeling that everything in the World is just right
• Highlights your best qualities and abilities
• Improves you family, community, city, state, nation, and world
• Improves your health
• It challenges you to grow, evolve and succeed
• Make a difference in the World
• Makes you feel generous and significant
• Makes you feel that you know what you are supposed to be doing in this life
• Provides opportunities to express your values and knowledge
• Increases Self esteem
• Makes daily chores and tasks seem less like work
• Turns you into who you were meant to be
• Unfolds your passion and fascination for life
• Utilizes your unique creative energies, bringing a thrill and excitement to life
• Draws you closer to the people that you love
• Becomes more empowering
• Allows you to feel fulfilled and happy
• Develops self respect
• Ushers you into peace

§§

The Mahayana Buddhist tradition of the Three Dharma Seals refers to the three life attributes shared by all living beings.

They consist of the mysteries of existence, impermanence (anicca – non self), and nirvana.

Everyone must deal with these three Worldly traits. Following one’s Dharma offers the best hope for navigating safely through the maze of personal existence.

The first Dharma Seal is impermanence:

As time passes by nothing remains the same. Even a flowing river, from one moment to the next, contains different water. A new car turns into a pile of rust (3rd law of thermodynamics) over time. Children are born, become adults, and then perish in old age. Mountains come and go. The Seas rise, fall, and dry up. What was once fertile land becomes a desert. The Sun exhausts its hydrogen fuel and balloons outward to become a Red Giant Star, swallowing up the Earth and all the inner planets. One galaxy ends, and the next is born.

Our space/time/causal world is in constant motion. By living your Dharma you take advantage of the opportunity to change, advance, grow, and rise to bliss consciousness. Going with the flow, rather than against the current of time, maximizes bliss and mental peace.

Everything continues to exist, only its form changes over time. A leaf falls from the tree and returns back to the soil. Elderly people die and their bodies return back to the Earth.

Holding on and not accepting inevitable change is a source of suffering.

It has been said that in the present moment the past and future also reside simultaneously. To us on this hard physical plane of existence, past/present/future appear distinct and separate. We seem to live the present, remember the past, and dream about the future.

But on the higher planes of existence as we move from the physical, to etheric, and then to the mental sphere of activity (our thinking level) that solid distinction begins to dissolve. The past becomes almost as real as the present. All too often the past haunts our present lives with resentment and the sting of unfulfilled wishes.

How we behave in the present is governed in large part by our past actions. Who we are on an individual level is the sum total of what we have gone through in the past. It has been said that 40% of what we do every day is by habit. Mental impressions (samskaras) and personal biases based on religion and societal norms all too often dictate how we act. We want to be free, but we can’t escape their clutch.

On the Buddhic level which is experienced in Enlightenment, the influence of time, although still acting on our bodies, has no other influence.

An essential reason of why time exists is because the speed of light is not infinite. It takes time for light to travel. It does not move instantaneously.

In fact, light traveling through various dense media actually slows down. Some current physics experiments have virtually slowed light down to a crawl.

It takes time for information to travel from one place in the universe to another.

When we look at a sunrise we see the Sun as it was 8 minutes ago. That’s because it takes 8 minutes for the light to reach us from the sun.

Speed of light Average mean distance of the Earth to the Sun Light travel time
300,000   kilometers/second 149,597,871 – kilometers 8.317 light minutes
186,000   miles/second 92,955,807 – miles 8.317 light minutes

As we look out into space we are viewing farther and farther back into the past.

Look at:

Jupiter, and see it as it was – 45 minutes ago
Saturn, and see it as it was – 75 minutes ago
Pluto, and see it as it was – 5.5 hours ago
The nearest star, Proxima Centauri, and see it as it was – 4.3 years ago
The center of our Milky Way Galaxy, and see it as it was – 30,000 years ago
The Andromeda Galaxy, and see it as it was – 2.6 million years ago

Now as a thought experiment, imaging that your awareness is everywhere at once. You can see what is happening right now in front of you, and also what is happening right now at the farthest edge of the Universe. All now, all here.

Well then …
when your awareness is at the outskirts of Jupiter, you are watching what will been seen by an observer on the planet Earth 45 minutes from now. So from that perspective, you are currently watching the future.

Not so for the person on the Earth, if their awareness is limited to where they are at that moment in time/space. But for one with unbounded cosmic awareness (Atma), the past/present/future all reside at once, in the eternal now.

The concept and perception of past/present/future only has relevance to one with limited conscious perspective.

The second Dharma Seal is non-self:

This is the observation that the individual self is not permanent. There is no eternal individual soul or individual self.

Many religious and philosophical systems suggest that after death the human soul continuous on, either in another world (heaven or hell) or through the process of rebirth comes back to Earth.

The prospect of living eternally either in heaven or hell is not supported by this doctrine. But a temporary stay based upon the fruits of karma is.

Destiny and karma act on an individual life and collectively influence the course of events in society. The Enlightened person is still the recipient of their karma, but it is no longer binding.

Just as a wave rises upon the ocean’s surface to reach for the sky, exists for a short time and then merges back into the sea, so to the realized individual/human soul returns to the eternal source of being.

All phenomena acting on the body and mind of a person are non-self influences.

In Buddhist teaching this lesson is sometimes taught in terms of the “five aggregates,” which are:

1. Form – as perceived by sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
2. Sensation – as pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent.
3. Perception – as objective experience of the phenomenal world.
4. Mental formation – as memories, thoughts, and imaginations.
5. Consciousness – as cognitive and noncognitive.

These constitute the basics of personal existence.

The third Dharma Seal is nirvana:

Nirvana is a state where craving, hatred, suffering, and all forms of ignorance come to an end.

The delusion of the ego/self has been extinguished. When the small self dissolves into the large Self, all doubt and hardship suddenly evaporate. Death and the influence of time are transcended.

Nirvana is eternal peace and contentment.

Through the principal of transcending the relative world (via meditation) enlightenment is realized.

§§

Finding and living ones Dharma is essential for every individual being. The Park Ranger at Mammoth Cave found his purpose through walking, teaching, and silence.

You should take an inventory of your life to help determine what set of activities and goals you are best suited for.

Search you heart to find your Dharma. Live it fully, in tune with nature, to ride the crested wave of life.

Peace be with you.

Posted by on May 12th, 2012 Comments Off on Finding and living your Dharma

The Wandering stones of Racetrack Playa

On a flat plain nestled 1,731 meters above sea level, stones mysteriously wander across the landscape.

This occurs at Racetrack Playa; a dry, vegetation free, desert basin area. Located in the Western part of the United States (Death Valley), it’s about 4 kilometers long, and 2 kilometers wide. The bed is composed of stratified clay, silt, sand, and other commonly soluble salts.

No one has ever seen them move, but the trails that they leave are ample evidence that rocks as heavy as 115 kg scoot across the surface like sailing vessels. Flat bottom rocks move in arcs and straight lines. Some move in one direction for awhile, and then another. Round bottom boulders travel more toward the right or left, in haphazard manner, as they tumble across the dry lake.

The dancing rocks are thought to move every 2-3 years. The trails last about 5 years. Stones with jagged bottoms leave grooved tracks as they travel. Sometimes stones turn over and the trail takes a sudden turn.

These rolling stones inspire our imagination.

Scientists have many theories to explain what propels these stones on their mysterious adventure. High winds are certainly involved, and the dry lake bed needs to be wetted (or iced) in order for the winds to be able to overcome the coefficient of static friction and start moving the heavy stones. High winds and a slick surface make movements across the plain possible.

As with an enlightened person, these stones remain in silence (do not move) until prompted by nature. When the right conditions exist, the sailing stones move. When the need of the environment requires it, an enlightened person is moved to action.

Death Valley

Death Valley is the lowest point in the United States, at 86 meters (282 feet) below sea level.
It is almost completely flat and holds the record for the second highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, a blistering 58oC (136.4o F).

Death Valley spans 3.4 million acres. Its flat plains and towering mountains are home to over 600 plant species; and 17 mammal, fish, and snail species that exist nowhere else in the world. The desert tortoise, coyote, ringtail cat, bighorn sheep, lizards, snakes and birds, call this their home.

How did Death Valley get this way?

• 1.4 billion years ago this area was covered by a shallow sea. Then the metamorphosed Precambrian basement rocks began to uplift. (These rocks are still visible today at Badwater).
• 550 million years ago the sandy mud flats gave way to harder carbonate rocks.
• 270 millions years ago – the Death Valley region was near the Earth’s equator.
• 250 million years ago the Sea began its withdrawal.
• 225 million years ago tectonic collisions from the west caused erupting volcanoes, mountain building, and further bed compression.
• 65 million years ago the withdrawal of the Sea is complete; after 160 million years of volcanism, thrust/faulting and mountain building.
• 30 million years ago the Pacific and Farallon plates intersected at the subduction zone, dividing the Farallon plate in two. The Death Valley basin was born. The Black Mountains began to rise, and the Panamint/Cottonwood Mountains moved westward.
• 24 million years ago river and lake deposits continue.
• 186,000 years ago the area filled with glacial fresh water. Lakes and rivers (Amargosa River, Lake Trcopa, Lake Manly, Panamint Lake and Searles Lake) became a part of the landscape. As faulting continued, Lake Manly grew to be 160 km in length and 183 meters (600 feet) deep.
• 10,000 years ago all the lakes were gone and dry land reigned supreme.

Geologists tell us that subduction continues. The Valley is sinking and the mountains move further apart. At some point in the future the Valley will open to the Sea and once again fill with salt water. As the mountains move further westward that area of California will separate from continental North America and become an island unto itself.

Modern day Death Valley features include:

Badwater Basin
This is lowest point in North America. Fault scarps and salt pans are still visible.

Death Valley dunes
The beautify Desert sands

Devil’s Golf Course
Ample Salt deposits

Furnace Creek
Water

Harmony Borax works
Early mining (20 Mule Team Borax) in Death Valley

Racetrack Playa
The mysterious wandering rocks

Saratoga Springs
The Desert oasis

Ubehebe Crater
The Maar volcanoes

Death Valley Sand Dunes

As human beings we desire, think, and act. We direct our will toward the fulfillment of personal satisfaction.

For the deluded, pleasure and pain appear to be different. A lifetime is spent avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure.

But pleasure and pain are just two aspects of our relative life. It’s far better to transcend both. Reach for truly lasting happiness – the eternal bliss of enlightened consciousness. Unfettered by time and space, you become truthfully free.

Be like the wandering stones of Racetrack Playa. Act when propelled by nature. Act for the betterment of all mankind.

Meditate every day to develop your full potential.

Posted by on April 8th, 2012 Comments Off on The Wandering stones of Racetrack Playa

Native American words to live by

Chief Dan George

Since the beginning of mankind’s first steps on the Earth we recognized that special kinship with this beautiful, blue world. The Native American people lived on the land in harmony with the seasons and the rhythms of the creation.

Here are a few words worthy to ponder, and use as a guideline for a life well lived.

———————————————————————————————————————
Algonquin Tribe

The Great Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us that which we put into the ground she returns to us….
(Big Thunder)

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Blackfoot Tribe

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
(Crowfoot)

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Cherokee Tribe

O’ GREAT SPIRIT
help me always
to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.
(Prayer)

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.
(Prayer)

———————————————————————————————————————
Coast Salish Tribe

May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.
(Chief Dan George)

The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle. But he will not make friends with any of these creatures and when his heart aches with longing he will curse me. Have I done all to keep the air fresh? Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?
(Chief Dan George)

———————————————————————————————————————
Dwamish Tribe

… all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man … the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
(Chief Seattle)

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
(Chief Seattle)

The wind that gave our grandfathers his first breath also receives his last sigh and the wind must also give our children the spirit of life.
(Chief Seattle)

———————————————————————————————————————
Hopi Tribe

Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.
(Proverb)

———————————————————————————————————————
Lakota Tribe

Lakota Instructions for Living:

Friend do it this way – that is,
whatever you do in life,
do the very best you can
with both your heart and mind.

And if you do it that way,
the Power Of The Universe
will come to your assistance,
if your heart and mind are in Unity.

When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
one must be responsible because
All of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do effects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way – that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind
as One – whatever you ask for,
that’s the Way It’s Going To Be.
(White Buffalo)

———————————————————————————————————————
Mohican Tribe

When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
(Chief Aupumut)

———————————————————————————————————————
Navajo Tribe

I have been to the end of the earth.
I have been to the end of the waters.
I have been to the end of the sky.
I have been to the end of the mountains.
I have found none that are not my friends.
(Proverb)

———————————————————————————————————————
Pawnee Tribe

In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things tell of Tirawa.

All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly…. We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.
(Eagle Chief)

———————————————————————————————————————
Ponca Tribe

There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled,
which leads to an unknown, secret place.

The old people came literally to love the soil,
and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of
being close to a mothering power.

Their teepees were built upon the earth
and their altars were made of earth.

The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of
propping himself up and away from its life giving forces.

For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply
and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of
life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
(Chief Luther Standing Bear)

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Pueblo Tribe

Hold On
Hold on to what is good,
Even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.
(Prayer)

———————————————————————————————————————
Seneca Tribe

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit.
If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about
it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?
(Sogoyewapha)

———————————————————————————————————————
Shawnee Tribe

According to the Native People, the Sacred Space
is the space between exhalation and inhalation.
To Walk in Balance is to have Heaven (spirituality)
and Earth (physicality) in Harmony.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
(Chief Tecumseh)

———————————————————————————————————————
Sioux Tribe

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy…

But anywhere is the center of the world.
(Black Elk)

And while I stood there
I saw more than I can tell,
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner
the shapes of things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must
live together like one being.
(Black Elk)

Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other,
thus should we do,
for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.
(Black Elk)

It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.
(Ohiyesa)

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.
(Chief Yellow Lark)

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Ute Tribe

Earth, Teach Me
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
(Prayer)

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Other sayings …

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)

Respect means listening until everyone has been heard and understood, only then is there a possibility of “Balance and Harmony” the goal of Indian Spirituality.
(Dave Chief, Grandfather of Red Dog)

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we
share the Earth:-
Four-legged, two-legged,
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.
(Native American Elder)

Certain things catch your eye,
But pursue only those
that capture your heart.
(old Indian saying)

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We are all Native peoples of the Earth. Live in harmony with creation.

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin
We Are All Related

Posted by on March 26th, 2012 Comments Off on Native American words to live by

Human birth is rare, so spend your time wisely

Human birth is favored by nature.  We are born with intellectual astuteness and the physical warewithal to explore, ponder, and contemplate the mysteries of the universe.

While other egocentric beings are caught in the web of time/causality and are limited by their mental faculties, we have both the inclination and apparatus (the human nervous system) to understand and stretch our lives toward the infinite.

As politicians and ecologists debate the Earth’s ability to support the current (7 billion) human inhabitants, an important consideration if often missed.  At no time in the recorded history of the human race has the potential for development of consciousness been so favored, or been so great.

Every day is an opportunity to meditate, and transcend suffering and egocentric induced limitation.

Buddhist theology enumerates that there are 31 levels of creation.

The Formless Realms (arupa-loka)
31.  Sphere of Neither perception nor non-perception
30.  Sphere of Nothingness
29.  Sphere of Infinite Consciousness
28.  Sphere of Infinite Space

The Form Realms (rupa-loka)
27.  Peerless devas
26.  Clear sighted devas
25.  Beautiful devas
24.  Untroubled devas
23.  Durable devas
22.  Mindless devas
21.  Very Fruitful devas
20.  Devas of Radiant Glory
19.  Devas of Unbounded Glory
18.  Devas of Limited Glory
17.  Devas of Streaming Radiance
16.  Devas of Unbounded Radiance
15.  Devas of Limited Radiance
14.  Great Brahmas
13.  Ministers of Brahma
12.  Retinue of Brahma

The Sensual World (kama-loka)
11.  Devas Wielding Power Over the Creation of Others
10.  Devas Delighting in Creation
9. Contented devas
8.  Yama devas
7.  The Thirty Three Gods
6.  Devas of the Four Great Kings
5.  Human Beings
4.  Demons
3.  Hungry Ghosts
2.  Animals
1.  Hell

Now at first glance it’s easy to think that since Human Beings occupy the 5th of 31 planes (in the 16th percentile) we are very low on the evolutionary ladder.   However, in reality we are in the middle.  We straddle between the physical plane and all of the higher mental planes.  As such, all realms of creation are available to us.

It has been said in the scriptures (Theravada Buddhist Pali Canon and others) that the higher beings (devas) are so enthralled by the beauty and splendor of those worlds, that they do not even contemplate enlightenment.  They are just not interested.

Our unique sensitivity to pleasure and pain, and our ability to develop virtue and wisdom to the degree necessary to set ourselves free from all kingdoms (time/space/causality), make human birth rare and cherished.

After years of following the footsteps of suffering and the false hopes of finding permanent happiness in this physical realm, we learn to turn within and develop our faculties to their fullest extent.

Other theological and philosophical systems have (more or less) than 31 delineated categories of life.  Some divide that spectrum to include both the animate and inanimate expressions of nature. But in each of those systems, humanity straddles the unique position of developing the full outer value of life (physical) and the full inner value of life (bliss consciousness).

Our sense of limitation (ego) and access to all levels of mind (chit) propels us toward enlightenment.

Just looking at numbers the human race is dwarfed by our multifarious world and universe.

For example:

1) How many atoms (the building blocks of matter) are there in the Universe?
A recent calculated estimate gives the number of atoms in the observable universe to be close to 1080.

That is …

100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 … atoms.

2) How many stars are there in the Universe?
The observable universe contains about 1 septillion (1024 ) stars organized into more than 80 billion galaxies, which themselves form clusters and super clusters.

That is …

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 … stars.

3) What is the size of the observable Universe?
The diameter of the observable universe is estimated to be about 28 billion parsecs (92 billion light-years), putting the edge of the observable universe at about 46–47 billion light-years away.

That is …

47,000,000,000 … light years OR
4,465,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 … kilometers OR
2,763,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 … miles.

4) How many plants are there on the Earth today?
Scientists have found approximately 250,000 different types of plants (not including fungi, algae – seaweeds and cutivars).

Annuals
Biennials
Perennials
Shrubs
Bulbs
Creepers and Climbers
Flowering and Ornamental Tree

5) How many insects are there on the Earth today?
There are 900,000 different kinds of living insects.
At any one time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive.

6) How many reptiles are there on the Earth today?
There are about 9000 species of reptiles on Earth.
The species are grouped into the following orders:
• Order Squamata Lizards and Snakes
• Order Chelonia/Testudines Tortoises and Turtles
• Order Crocodylia Crocodiles
• Order Rhyncocephalia Tuataras (of which there are only 2 species)

7) How many birds are there on the Earth today?
Estimates indicate that there are about 100 billion birds living today on the Earth (re: Cornell University).

8.) How many fish are there on the Earth today?
The first global census of marine life logged 230,000 different species.  There are billions upon billions of fish in the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers.

9) How many animals are there on the Earth today?
Scientists who study animal life are called zoologists. They have recorded 6,000 species of reptiles, 1,000 species of amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals.

These daunting numbers do indeed highlight how rare human birth is.

10) How many human beings have ever lived on the Earth?
It is estimated that 108 billion people have lived and died on the Earth.  The human population
• around 8,000 BC was about 5-million;
• around 1 AD was about 300-million;
• around 1750 was about 795-million;
• around 1900 was around 1.6-billion;
• and in 2012 will be over 7-billion people.

(For Theosophical fans, if you subscribe to this teaching, the Earth is currently in the 4th round of 7, and humanity in the 5th stage of 7 of evolutionary development).

11) What is the current Human population on the Earth?
7 billion people and counting – 7,000,000,000

§§

Of all individual expressions of the divine (ego-based creatures) in the World and Universe, humanity has the most promise.

Anchored in the physical realm, with ample mental capacity to explore and become aware of all levels of consciousness, we can and do reach for enlightenment – the pinnacle of evolution.

We enjoy and suffer according to our destiny.  So set your own course for spiritual development and rise beyond fate.

For those wanting to go beyond the temporal sadness and happiness that current life may be offering you, close your eyes and meditate to break that cycle.

Human birth is rare.  Cherish every minute since it cannot be replaced.  Set yourself on the pathway toward permanent bliss consciousness and enchantment.

Posted by on March 17th, 2012 Comments Off on Human birth is rare, so spend your time wisely